Samplings from June 26, 2018

Thursday turned out to be a pretty good Happy Hour, with a larger than usual crowd. Some of the infrequent attendees showed up, which is always fun. If anything, it makes the conversations that much more interesting. It’s always good to be able to catch up with people you haven’t seen for a month or two. It’s even better to do it over wings and beers.

This particular Thursday came a day after the 7th Hill Taproom tapped beers from Bell’s Brewery and Founder’s. It’s interesting to have two breweries represented from Michigan. It’s a fairly long way for the beer to travel to get to Florida. Surprisingly, I have had a number of beers from both breweries that I really enjoy. Lately, someone bought be a 4 pack of the Founder’s Breakfast Stout, which is a pretty solid beer. So, it was definitely an opportunity to try some other beers.

Let’s talk beers.

 

Founders - Imperial StoutImperial Stout (2016)

Brewer: Founders (Grand Rapids, MI)
Style: Imperial Stout
ABV: 10.5%
IBU: 75
Served: Draft
Glass and Serving Size: 10 Ounce Tulip
Rating: Good

Not typically the way that I want to start sampling, starting with an Imperial Stout. But, heck, this beer was at the top of the list, and I am the type of person that follows the list when I can’t make up my mind. As it turns out the Founders Imperial Stout (2016) wasn’t a bad way to start the evening.

Of course, the beer pours a dark with a mocha head. The aroma was smoky, sweet, and dark roasted malt. The flavor was almost chocolatey with hints of dark roast and a level of smokiness. In all the flavors came together to make a solid beer. Usually, I like to work my way up to such a strong beer, but this ended up being a good starter.

 

Bells - ExpiditionExpedition

Brewer: Bell’s (Comstock, MI)
Style: Russian Imperial Stout
ABV: 10.5%
IBU: ?
Served: Draft
Glass and Serving Size: 10 Ounce Tulip
Rating: Good

The next beer on the list was another Imperial Stout. Looking at the picture of the draft beer list, it was surprising to see the number of Imperial Beers on draft. It was a pretty heavy list of beers, which isn’t a bad thing. Having gone through many of the Imperial’s on the list, the Tap Room has done a good job of selecting some quality high alcohol beers.

The Expedition poured dark with a thick mocha head. The aroma was relatively light with sweetness with dark roast and a degree of maltiness. The flavor profile was distinct from the Founders Imperial Stout in that it was sweet first followed by dark roast and what I can only describe as a chocolatey finish. Again, another solid beer for the evening.

 

Bells - L Appell Du VideL’Appel Du Vide

Brewer: Bell’s (Comstock, MI)
Style: Dry Hopped Wild Ale
ABV: 3.3%
IBU: ?
Served: Draft
Glass and Serving Size: 10 Ounce Tulip
Rating: Ok

It’s time to shift gears from the heavy to something a little bit lighter. The L’Appel Du Vide is what boils down to a sour ale. As I have said before, I have had some great sours lately. Let’s see how this one measures up.

The L’Appel pours a yellow gold with a light white head. The aroma is definitely sour tending toward a citrus lemon. The taste is interesting in that it is predominately lemon and very tart. The finish of the beer has a hint of spice, which I couldn’t quite place. All in all, it was a little more sour than I prefer, but it wasn’t necessarily a bad beer.

 

Bells - HopsoulutionHopsoulution

Brewer: Bell’s (Comstock, MI)
Style: Imperial IPA
ABV: 8.0%
IBU: ?
Served: Draft
Glass and Serving Size: 10 Ounce Tulip
Rating: Ok

Time to get back to a heavy hitter. The Hopsoulution was the next one on the list, and after the Expedition, I was rather hopeful for a delightfully strong Imperial IPA. Unfortunately, this one, while decent, really didn’t hit home very well.

The Hopsoulution poured a dark gold, almost brown, with a creamy white head. The aroma was light but was predominantly hoppy. The only way to describe the flavor is as thick and hoppy. There was a hint of citrus in the finish. The beer wasn’t bad, it just didn’t measure up to similar beers from Stone and SixPoint breweries.

 

Summary

In summary, it was a good night for beer and friends. It’s always enjoyable to have good beers around when seeing people you haven’t seen in a while. While the alcohol content of the beers was a bit on the high side, it was a good night for beer. My favorite was definitely the Founder’s Imperial Stout with the Bell’s Expedition a close second. There wasn’t a single beer that I wouldn’t drink again in from this mix.

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